Denver shows us there is no better community builder than arts and culture

When I arrive in a city on a business trip, the first thing my hosts usually show me is the work of a local artist. Thinking back on all of these cherished local spots in Denver I have visited over my years of coming here — from Big Blue Bear to the River North Art District — I’m reminded that art and artists are integrated into everything. The arts often embody the most iconic and memorable sights of our cities and communities, and are the very expression of who we are. My visits to Denver show me that community is a core value — there is a strong sense of belonging, of welcoming others, of standing by your neighbor, colleagues, and friends.

Over the past few years however, national discourse and political events have made many people feel that perhaps their communities are more fragile than previously thought. Our country needs help to heal division, to inspire important dialogues, and to carry our communities toward their dreams of health, vibrancy, and equity. These challenges require the creative solutions and ideas of an artist’s mind, because the arts wield the bold power to affect positive change in our communities.

This week, Americans for the Arts, the nation’s nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, is bringing its annual Convention to Denver. From across the country, more than 1,000 arts leaders and their partners in creative business, education, and government will gather Thursday through Sunday and explore how the future of culture and creativity rely on the ongoing participation and engagement of the entire community. Denver is holy ground for Americans for the Arts, the site of its first convention for local arts agencies almost forty years ago, again twenty years ago, and now this week. Plan on us being back here …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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